The Broken Fairground Ride

A fairground ride broke down and pleasure seekers were stuck on it for four hours. Pleasure seekers. They were looking for merriment but it ended up being too much for them. Too much, for too long. I wondered whether the ride was spinning… Spinning out of control… For the whole four hours. It horrified me. Then I realised it shouldn’t have. That’s life. You go looking for joy… You find it, at first… Then it spins out of control… And by the time you realise it, you can’t stop it.

It’s Shabbes afternoon and I’m left standing in my hall with a string of pearls wrapped round my fingers. Keys lie on the table. My eyes are blurry and I feel faint. I’m waiting for the pain to go away but instead I weep. I wonder if Hashem hears my pleas and I wonder if he’ll help me. I can’t imagine why. I’ve cried to him before, fallen on my knees and wept, poured out my heart and said Tehillim. It never worked. Did the rabbi give me a brocha this morning? Or is that just how he speaks? What does it matter, anyway? I lay the table for two. Even if no one were looking I would, though I know for sure one plate will be going straight in the sink. I don’t care. I wonder if I can open a can on shabbos, then flippantly I pull it open and I drink. Sweet lemon. I splutter and tears cloud my eyes again. I think back to last night. By now my eyes are red and raw from all the tears. But I don’t care. It’s the motivation which scares me. The fact I don’t have any motivation. I wrote that I have emunah. But I don’t think this is a shining example. I wonder if it really will get better.

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4 thoughts on “The Broken Fairground Ride

  1. Hi! No grief on shabbes! Just as we don’t light fire or work, we should remember that the Halacha does not allow grief on shabbes, it is very hard, but this Halacha helps us after all… as you know people who mourn a in the week after a relative’s death god forbid, have to stop mourning on shabbes, hard as it might be. I guess we all have tests in this matter. Once, about 2 years ago a close relative of us who lives in the south of Israel died close to the entering of shabbes. My cousin called crying and noticed us. It was very shocking and hard for us. my parents cried that shabbes, But I tried to hold my feelings because it was shabbes! I felt horrible inside me but thought “what the sadness will help me, I can’t do anything about it now on shabbes”… May Hashem bless us with a great beneficial week!

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    1. I remember a similar story to your cousin’s involving the Rebbe. It’s true. Visiting graves on shabbes is not exactly ossur because it can be done if you’ve travelled a long way to do it, but it’s frowned upon, for sure. I wish I had your mindset, though; I’m afraid that unlike you I can’t simply say ‘it’s Shabbes, I’ll be happy’. It doesn’t work like that. Have a great week, Eitan.

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      1. I didn’t mean it is simple for me to remember it is shabbes and to be happy in sad times. It really doesn’t work like that. But when we get to a situation like this (hope we won’t get) we have to try, to pretend or distract ourselves from wallowing in the sadness. I lately read about one of the prominent chasidim of Chabad who wrote at length about the issue of sadness and how much it is worst than all the other negative feelings mentioned in Tanya (chapter one: Anger, Pride, Flippancy). There is a famous advice in Chabad chasidut to distract ourselves and think about positive things. (I think the Rebbe said in letter to prepare (know well) a chapter in Tanya or an insight to think about when we have bad thoughts. We might not always succeed but maybe for a few minutes we’ll forget about our sadness. As the alter Rebbe writes on Tanya that the mind should control the heart, and we can get to positive feelings, loving Hashem, by observing his greatness and his world, It is a hard work for me, for you, and for most people. But we can at least try that’s my point. The benefit is sure. And as chassidut says about prayer, if bad thoughts appear it means that until now you thought about hashem and focused on the prayer, that’s why “yetzer hara” tries to put the negative thought in your mind! 🙂

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